Please support this petition and help table a parliamentary debate of Daniel's Law, new legislation meaning people working in Regulated Activities are legally obliged and supported to come to the aid of children in distress by reporting abuse, and can be held accountable for failing to do so.
The report of the Coventry Serious Case Review into Daniel Pelka’s death referenced Mandatory Reporting in Regulated Activities as follows:
14.8 Unlike the UK, some countries have a process for mandatory reporting of child care concerns to government departments, which raises the question that if it existed here, whether injuries seen upon Daniel would have been independently reported by individuals to the authorities.
In an interview with the BBC, the author of the report recommended Mandatory Reporting in Regulated Activities be considered as ‘part of any debate’ on future child protection; he also observed that in Daniel’s case such legislation ‘may have given staff the confidence to report’.
Daniel’s Law supports the Mandate Now coalition of child protection charities’ 10 year campaign for Mandatory Reporting in Regulated Activities. Mandate Now points out that current ‘statutory guidance’ is based on the assumption that people who work with children will always correctly interpret and follow guidance, even in very difficult circumstances - when confronted with assertive parents, reluctant colleagues or where vulnerable children 'normalise' abuse and find it very difficult to tell, for example. Although we might hope that staff in regular contact with these children will report on their behalf, Serious Case Reviews repeatedly show that professionals often suspect abuse is taking place but fail to report.
In spite of arguments that communication and not legislation will be key to future improvement in child protection, the fact remains that no one from his school reported their concerns about Daniel to Children's Services, meaning there was no formal report around which for communication to revolve and no formal report to underpin professional intervention. A new law requiring Mandatory Reporting in Regulated Activities will provide a child protection framework in which we can all have far greater confidence, because it will introduce the absolute clarity and accountability that is currently lacking. Existing DfE guidance that staff ‘should’ report would hereby become instruction i.e. ‘must’ report; this is an important distinction - other young lives will depend on it.
The campaign for Daniel’s Law seeks legislation in Regulated Activities only - not in familial settings, where it is not always effective (as the government points out). Mandatory Reporting in Regulated Activities laws already work effectively in many countries including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, South Africa, Sweden and the USA.
Please support the campaign for Daniel’s Law and help table a debate – this issue is now firmly on the national agenda and must be addressed.